New Tunes from Miniature Tigers

The Gum just tossed this Miniature Tigers song up this morning, and I’ve been rocking to it ever since then.  The great thing is that it was produced by adopted Austin artist Alan Palomo of Neon Indian fame.  It sort of reminds me of something along the lines of an electronic version of Human Highway.  Basically, that means it rules.  This jam is set to come out on the group’s album Fortress, which hits stores July 27th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/play.mp3]

Download: Miniature Tigers – Gold Skulls [MP3]

New Tunes from Math and Physics Club

Seattle is usually known for a harder edge sound, perhaps even with a blend of hippy in there somewhere, so its no surprise that Math and Physics Club haven’t gotten too much attention out that way.  Luckily, we’re here to set things straight, as their breezy pop jams always bring a ray of light into our days (not to mention a little good-hearted nerdiness).  The band has a new album titled I Shouldn’t Look as Good as I Do, and it will be released on June 12th by my favorite label Matinee Records.  Enjoy the sun.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/mapc07.mp3]

Download: Math and Physics Club – Jimmy Had a Poloaroid [MP3]

New Tunes from Neverever

You may not have herad of Neverever just yet, but then again, you might have heard of them, and never ever known it.  The group, comprised of Jihae Simmons and Wallace Meek used to go by the name Champagne Socialists, and Wallace was in one of my favorites, Bricolage.  Now, they have Neverever, a sweet little classic pop group based in LA.  I’ve been playing this bouncy little number, with its warm “ooohs” floating over it, all morning long.  You should too.  Their debut Angelic Swells will be out May 25th on Slumberland Records. Another jam, “Young and Dumb” is available HERE.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/neverever-young-runaways.mp3]

Download: Neverever – The Young Runaways [MP3]

New Tunes from 800Beloved

It’s been awhile since I’ve heard something like this come out of Michigan, but I know its no fluke, as 800Beloved released a solid debut titled Bouquet almost a year ago.  They’re back now, with their new album, Everything Purple, and it’s full of simple dream pop.  This tune will surely remind you of Pains of Being Pure at Heart, but just take a bit of that jangle guitar, smooth it out, and clear up the vocals just a touch.  If you ask me, it makes for a pretty incredible sound.  You can stream the new album HERE.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/01-Everything-Purple-1.mp3]

Download: 800Beloved – Everything Purple [MP3]

Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime

Rating: ★★★ · ·

San Franciscos’ Thee Oh Sees (formerly a dozen different names) just can’t seem to stop putting out recording after recording.  Lately, the psychedelic stylings have garnered continuous praise, allowing the band to increase their stake in the market share.  While they maintain the sound of Nuggets-era rock on their new album Warm Slime, they still do just enough to keep things relevant to today’s musical world.

When you open with a title track, like “Warm Slime” its really making a statement. Sure, the song is fueled by feedback and echoing vocals that sort of put you into a trance, but what really encourages the trance mentality here is that the song goes on for close to fourteen minutes.  At times, it seems as if you’re stuck in some sort of mind-warp, looping back and back and back again.  Had they kept it close to three or four minutes, most people would agree that this is a pretty solid track, but going on and on just seems like the band, and listener, just can’t escape.

Once you get past that epic little bit, you’ll find that you can have quite a bit of fun with Warm Slime.  Bouncing along to the swinging “I Was Denied” is highly recommended, and why not sing a long with the “la la la la” chorus that bangs with the crashing of the cymbals.  This is where this band was supposed to be, bringing a little sun-tinged psychedelia.  The fun doesn’t stop here either, as “Everything Went Black” has this sort of stomp to it that you usually associate with your dad’s obscure classic rock collection.  Yet, the delivery of the vocals does bring it into the present, even though such gentle shouting can surely be traced back to rock n’ roll ancestry.

Thee Oh Sees seem to be at their best when their rushing to fit everything into under three minutes. “Castiatic Tackle” just runs along like something straight out of The Cramps catalog, which really isn’t a bad thing, though with the speed, that rock-a-billy beat is a touch more disguised.  “Mega-feast” is probably my favorite track on Warm Slime.  It’s got all sorts of musical allusions: surf-rock, psychedelia, punk, rock-a-billy, and garage.  Toss it all in a blender and you end up with one killer hodgepodge song.  Then it all comes to a quick close with “MT Work,” and it’s here where you start to find things you could consider a detractor from this album.

Well, the detractors are all over this album, but you only really focus on them when the album comes to its close.  You’re left to wonder where all the time went, when it really feels like you breezed through everything in a matter of minutes. The vocals were shaky, but while you were having fun, you didn’t seem to notice.  Still, it doesn’t sit entirely well to have a lopsided album; you can almost take the first track and say its longer than the first.  These are all mild complaints, as fans of Thee Oh Sees already know what they’re in for, but if you’re not, you might want to preview Warm Slime for just a bit before you end up feeling like you’ve been duped.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Thee-Oh-Sees-I-Was-Denied.mp3]

Download: Thee Oh Sees – I Was Denied [MP3]

Woven Bones @ Beerland (5/12)

Date Wednesday, May 12th
Location Beerland
Doors 800p
Tickets $5 @ the Door

It seems that nowadays, everyone is jumping back into the Austin music scene.  Recently, P4K raved about our very own Woven Bones, and you’ll all get a chance to catch this dark psychedelic act in action tonight at Beerland.  It’s super cheap, so you really don’t have a reason not to go, right?  To top it off, you’ll also get to see Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys and Austin’s OBN III.  It’s a night dedicated to debauchery, or so the music would indicate.  Regardless, lets go out there and celebrate our local scene.  Also, if you like the track below, go get yourself a copy of Casual Victim Pile, which chronicles our local heroes.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/03-Spirits-Roam-1.mp3]

Download: Woven Bones – Spirits Roam [MP3]


New Tunes from Circle Pit

Running a site like this does from time to time take a lot of research, so I was lucky when I came across this band from Australia.  Circle Pit are set to hit the states this summer, and all things point to nothing but continued exposure and fame, as they’re already getting big in their home country.  This gem comes off their new album Bruise Constellation.  It sounds a lot like everything you’d hear on our home turf; it’s full of sunny guitars reminiscent of beaches and guy/girl vocals you can sing along to while you’re hitting the road this summer.  Get ready America, here comes Circle Pit.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/06-circle_pit-another_trick.mp3]

Download: Circle Pit – Another Trick [MP3]

Foals – Total Life Forever

Rating: ★★★★ ·

When Foals first came around the United States they barely made waves over here with their debut Antidotes, but having a few more years of growth has allowed them to push their sound in a much more confident manner, creating a wonderfully unassuming pop record.  Total Life Forever never really hits you in the face, but that doesn’t seem to be the band’s point of emphasis here, choosing instead to relax and let the good times come as they please.

When the opening moments of “Blue Blood,” the distinctive vocals of Yannis immediately bring to mind bands like Frightened Rabbit, but as you hear building percussion and guitar in the mixture the song quickly breaks into a rhythmic piece of pop.  Ringing guitar chords give it a bit of a shimmy, but as mentioned before, it never just comes out and hits you over the head with power chords, nor jangly guitars.

Perhaps some might be averse to submerging themselves in the rhythmic vibe of this record, but if you’re only searching for something that gives a swing to your step, then this might not be the album for you. “Miami” has a slow paced groove with a simple structured chorus, but there’s definitely a groove lying beneath it all.   And sure, “Total Life Forever utilizes angular guitar work throughout to accompany the gang vocals, but Foals seem more willing to focus on slowing things down just a bit, as they do near the end of the song.  In a sense, it allows for a much better energetic release for listeners, as you’re not spent after listening to the first three tracks, as you are with other similarly categorized groups.

One of the greatest things about Total Life Forever seems to be that these five lads just aren’t too interested in meeting expectations.  This album carries three songs over the six minute mark, which isn’t odd, unless you consider their last effort didn’t have a single song meeting that mark.  “Spanish Sahara” creates a sort of a really quiet bedroom pop number, the sort my older sister jammed too in the late 80s.  It’s full of nothing at points, which is a remarkable feat considering that most bands love the excessive layering nowadays. Very similarly, “After Glow” lives in sort of an art-punk dance pop realm, and while it resembles the other six minute numbers, it pushes things in a bit of a different direction with some cacophony and a quicker pace.

Don’t get me wrong, I, too, enjoy an upbeat number, much like the single “This Orient,” though in contrast to a lot of stuff out there, its probably not an over-the-top pop track.  Steady drumming, and awkward chanting vocals in the background create an odd effect, but that swirling hook in the chorus is really sublime.  This is probably as close, however, as you’ll get to really straight ahead pop tunes.  Even with that in mind, there are some minor missteps, like “Fugue,” which is only 49 seconds, and doesn’t add a single thing.

Everything about this record is quiet, and yet it’s really vibrant at the same time. The rhythmic elements slowly unfold when you least expect them to, and you’ll find yourself exploring for various levels of hook and texture while listening to Total Life Forever. In sitting back to construct this record, rather than pushing their sound in your face, Foals have created a far more meaningful second album than any had come to expect, but expectations will only get higher from here lads. Cheers to that.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/06-This-Orient-1.mp3]

Download: Foals – This Orient [MP3]

New Tunes from L.A.X.

For some time local Austin band, L.A.X. have been devoted to making people dance their butts off, including those that caught their energetic set at ACL last year.  Things are looking up for this group, and they’re set to release a new EP, titled the A EP, which will officially see its release at their show on May 20th over at the Parish.  Be sure to catch on to these guys now, and at the very least, you’ll have something sweet to dance to while at work.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/01-Im-Sorry.mp3]

Download: L.A.X. – I’m Sorry [MP3]

New Tunes from Admiral Radley

I”ve been waiting to actually get a listen to Admiral Radley for sometime, as the band is made up of two of my favorites, Grandaddy and Earlimart, so when this jam surfaced Friday (via ThaGum) I jumped on it.  It’s everything you sort of expected it to be, with Jason Lytle singing over electronic infused pop, seemingly longing to be back in California?  While it’s not the best work lyrically, it shows a lot of promise, and only furthers our anticipation for what the band’s album, I Heart California, hits stores July 13th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/1-I-Heart-California-1.mp3]

Download: Admiral Radley – I Heart California [MP3]

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